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Changes to BNP testing service for heart failure

The UHNM Biochemistry Laboratory will be switching from measurement of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) to N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) from October 1st 2018.

Limitations of the current assay mean that many requests are rejected due to sample haemolysis, or if the wrong type of sample has been received. The new NT-proBNP assay is not significantly affected by sample haemolysis and analysis can be performed on the same sample as other routine Biochemistry requests. This will reduce numbers of rejected tests and repeated phlebotomy episodes, and will prevent delays in referral to secondary care where appropriate.

NT-proBNP will replace BNP on ICE, but otherwise requesting will remain the same. There will be no change in turnaround time or referral pathways. Phlebotomists will no longer need to provide an additional EDTA sample for analysis. Clinical teams will need to be conscious of a change in reference range for the new assay, although results will be provided with a comment to aid interpretation.

Further information is available in this letter distributed to clinical teams. Any queries regarding this change can be directed to the Duty Biochemist (01782 674 265).